When it comes to the Broncos-Chiefs rivalry, Jerry Rosburg gets it in a way Nathaniel Hackett did not
Dec 30, 2022, 11:01 PM | Updated: 11:07 pm
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — There will be plenty of things to recall about Nathaniel Hackett’s 15 games on the job — a tenure that is the shortest for a non-interim head coach in Broncos history.
Game-management snafus. Handing off the play-calling after the offense sank to depths unseen by the Broncos in a half-century. An attempt to reinvent the training-camp wheel that backfired,
But one that will always stick out is his reluctance to confer any unusual significance upon playing — and losing to — division rivals that the Broncos and their fans detest.
Can’t really hate anybody. I mean in this world, that’s too much energy. But it’s another game; we’re excited to go against the Raiders.
Regarding the Chiefs, who now have a 14-game winning streak in the series:
I mean, that’s the past. We just got here, so we want to win the football game. And it’s a (AFC) West opponent and we know how important that is.
Nathaniel Hackett asked by @TroyRenck about the Chiefs rivalry, and being swept by the Chiefs the last six seasons: “I mean, that's the past. For us, it's the now. It's a West opponent. It's a great rivalry that's been going on for years. Very excited to be a part of it. …” pic.twitter.com/wrz2cdLw88
— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) December 7, 2022
Failures against division rivals — four losses in four games — helped seal Hackett’s fate. His successor, interim coach Jerry Rosburg, found himself launched into the deep end immediately, with his first game being against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
But Rosburg gets it.
He gets the agony Broncos fans feel. He doesn’t dismiss the streak as the product of other teams with other coaches.
“I recognize that fact. I also think the fans of the Denver Broncos are recognizing that fact, too. That needs to change,” he said, sternly.
“How do you go about doing that? You put together the best game plan that you can, you put the best players on the field, you teach them how to play and how to play together, and you go about making measure of that and changing that.”
But 14 losses … man.
Only Brandon McManus has been a part of a win over the Chiefs as a Bronco. No one else knows what it’s like.
Among the niagara of negative numbers to define the Broncos during their post-Super Bowl 50 descent into the league’s nether regions, 14 consecutive losses to the Chiefs may well stand alone.
“That’s a number that I am having a hard time grasping, frankly, because this organization has a steadfast, incredible football tradition,” Rosburg said.
“It cannot be that way. It just cannot be that way. I’m setting out to try to — in one week — change the course of that.”
Rosburg took the first step this week.
He showed that he gets it.